Parly now a crime scene – Speaker

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Ntsebeng Motsoeli

LEGISLATORS who participated in violent clashes in parliament last Thursday have defiled the August House by making it a crime scene, Speaker Sephiri Motanyane said this week.

Mr Motanyane said the chaos in the House, which should be an exemplary place of dignity and purposefulness, was a complete disgrace to the country.

This after Agriculture and Food Security minister Litšoane Litšoane and Movement for Economic Change (MEC) leader Selibe Mochoboroane left parliament nursing injuries after a fist fight between opposition and government legislators. The legislators brawled after deputy speaker, Teboho Lehloenya moved to suspend two MPs accused of rowdy behaviour in the House (see story on page 4).

The two were treated as outpatients at a hospital at Makoanyane barracks. Neither of them has attended Parliament since then.

And on Monday Mr Motanyane said investigations were underway and legal action would be taken against those legislators found to be in the wrong.

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“What transpired in this house last Thursday was embarrassing to some of us,” Mr Motanyane said.

“You have disgraced this country and this house. Some of the things that happened were criminal offences and will be thoroughly investigated. People were injured in this honourable national assembly by the so-called honourable members who are supposed to be a good example to the nation.”

He said the while legislators had power, that power came with responsibility. But the legislators had behaved like loose cannons with no control over themselves.

He said the bloodshed and vandalism of property during the clashes were criminal offences which must be investigated and dealt with thoroughly. The ethics committee would carefully watch the video to identify the culprits.

“The bloodshed and vandalism of property must be investigated thoroughly and those responsible must pay for their actions. The ethics and privileges committee will go through the footage. Everyone must account for his or her actions.

“What disturbs me most is that blood has been shed and the house has become a crime scene which the police must investigate. You should not be surprised when the police officers come to carry out their investigations during the business of the house,” Mr Motanyane said during a parliamentary session

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